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SpaceWire is a network for connecting instruments and other equipment into the payload data-handling system onboard a spacecraft. It provides high-speed (2-200 Mbits/s), bi-directional communications over point-to-point links and network capabilities using routing switches. One of the key features of SpaceWire is its simplicity resulting in low gate count implementations enabling SpaceWire interfaces to be readily included in FPGAs and ASIC devices. Spacecraft systems have to be able to adapt to failures either autonomously or under control from Earth. SpaceWire provides support for implementing fault tolerant links and networks. This paper introduces SpaceWire, considers the need for autonomy and adaptive systems in spacecraft and then explores how SpaceWire can support that autonomy.